Amazon acquires Belgian robotics company Cloostermans
American online retail giant Amazon has announced the acquisition of Belgian company Cloostermans, a century-old textile machinery manufacturer that has become a specialist in mechatronic tools. It has been supplying Amazon with robotic logistics devices since 2019. The purchase is part of Amazon's goal to increase the automation of its fullfilment centres.
"With its expertise in engineering, robotics and machinery, we will be able to deploy new solutions more quickly at our sites to improve the working conditions of our employees and help reduce our waste," Amazon said in a statement. "The company will also strengthen Amazon Global Robotics' presence in Europe. Last year we opened a research laboratory in Italy," the group said.
With around 200 partners, Cloostermans isn’t just a tech company; its machinery manufacturing operations dating back to 1884. A family business based in Hamme, it offers automated solutions for milling, turning, drilling, waterjet cutting and 3D printing, as well as automated assembly and preparation lines.
Amazon Europe currently has 22 logistics centers in Germany, nine in France, eight in Spain, seven in Poland, six in Italy and two in the Czech Republic, as well as 22 logistics sites in the UK.
The announcement comes a few weeks after Amazon bought iRobot, a home automation specialist known for its intelligent robot hoovers. Building on the success of its connected Amazon Echo speakers, the group intends to continue developing devices that can be controlled from its "Alexa" assistant.
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